With prize recruit Steve Johnson calling the shots, GWS linchpin Shane Mumford will be upset if the Giants don’t snare a maiden AFL finals appearance next year.
The Giants were well placed to be a part of the September action for the first time in 2015, only to nose-dive after Mumford’s mid-season ankle injury.
He missed the rest of the season and they finished two games out of the finals in 11th spot with an 11-11 record – still the best return in their first four years.
Mumford was bullish about the Giants’ 2016 prospects, especially after securing his former Geelong teammate Johnson, who won three premierships with the Cats.
“Stevie J is going to be really good for us down there in the forward line,” Mumford told AAP on Tuesday.
“No doubt he’ll be barking orders more than anyone, so I expect us to take another big step forward and I’d be upset if we don’t push for finals.
“There’s no reason why we can’t be expecting to do it and I’m sure the outside football world is too, because they’ve seen how well we progressed last year.
“I expect us to progress that much again this year.”
Mumford will officially return to pre-season training on Monday.
“I trained right up before I left on my holidays, so I’m not too far behind where I’d like to be,” Mumford said.
“With me being an older guy I probably don’t need to play as many (pre-season games) as some of the young guys and give them a chance to get another taste of for AFL.
“They got a taste of it at the end of last year, Rory (Lobb) and Tom (Downie).
“That’s going to be really beneficial for us because they know now what it’s like to have to back up week after week.
“The more you play, the more confident you get to do it.”
The Giants’ ruck stocks will be boosted by the addition of another one of Mumford’s former Geelong teammates, Dawson Simpson.
“He’s been in the (AFL) system now for eight years, the same as me, so he’s got that base behind him and he should be good for us,” Mumford said.
“He is going to be handy to have there for us. He’ll be pushing the other young ruckmen like I do.”